As the operator Tepco announced at the end of this week, the havaraged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is to be equipped with a double-clutch gearbox from the 20.05.2019 the dismantling work of the highly radioactive contaminated chimney of reactor units 1 and 2 will begin. The chimney of reactors 3 and 4, which is also contaminated with highly radioactive particles, as well as another chimney will be dismantled at a later date, since its supporting structures are not as badly damaged as those of the chimney of reactor units 1 and 2. The dismantling work was already announced in December last year, but without naming an exact date (antiatom-fuku reported).
The chimney, which is 3.2 meters wide in diameter and 120 meters high, is supported by a supporting structure. However, this has become very unstable due to countless fractures and corrosion and is therefore in acute danger of collapsing. A slightly stronger earthquake would be enough here!
As the work, which has to be carried out completely by remote control due to the high radiation, is very complex and difficult, only the upper half of the chimney is to be dismantled for the time being, so that the chimney will then no longer be so unstable.
At the beginning of the reactor catastrophe with triple meltdown in March 2011, radioactive steam was released through the chimney in reactor unit 1 for the purpose of depressurization, as a result of which the chimney, especially from the inside, and the immediate surroundings were very heavily contaminated with radioactivity.
For the dismantling of the chimney, a high crane was mounted, which has a special device, with which the chimney is to be removed piece by piece. The removed 2 to 4 meter segments will then be carefully lowered and transported away. The swirling of radioactive particles is to be prevented by a special binding agent.
Shortly after the start of the reactor disaster, there was a lethal radiation level of over 10 Sv/h at the base of the chimney. 2015 the radiation was still 2 Sv/h. Even today, there are numerous places at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, especially in the reactor buildings, but also outdoors, that have a dangerously high radiation dose.
No further commissioning of nuclear power plants in 2019
After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, 9 reactors at 5 nuclear power plants nationwide have already been deemed "safe" by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), approved by local authorities and put back into operation. As one reactor (at the Ōi nuclear power plant) is temporarily under revision, "only" 8 reactors are currently on the grid. Other reactors are still being checked to ensure they meet safety requirements set by law. Among the most promising candidates, i.E. Those reactors where the NRA has already announced the release, the restart will be postponed for another 6 to 9 months, as the still required rework will take some time. This will delay the restart of reactor 1 at Takahama NPP, Fukui Prefecture, scheduled for next fall until May 2020. Reactor 3 at Mihama NPP, Fukui Prefecture is expected to come online in July 2020, and reactor 2 at Takahama NPP in January 2021, so no other reactor will be ramped up this year.
For all three o.G. The reactors in question are old reactors for which, after 40 years of operation, an operating extension has been granted for a further 20 years, bringing their total operating life to 60 years.
Tomari nuclear power plant: permanent seismically active fault
In the ongoing dispute over geological faults at the Tomari nuclear power plant, Hokkaido, officials from the operating Hokkaido Electric Power Company met with the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) last Friday for a conference in Tokyo, where the NRA's headquarters are located. Hokkaido Electric Company submitted data from a renewed geological survey to the NRA that reportedly disproves seismic activity from geological faults at the Tomari NPP. This cannot be confirmed by the NRA, which cannot rule out seismic activity, however, "with the best will in the world". Because already in February the permanent topic "geological fault" was discussed hotly. Also at that time, the Hokkaido Electric Power Company presented specially collected data claiming that there would be no seismic activity (antiatom-fuku reported).
Meanwhile, the NRA review has dragged on for more than five and a half years, mainly because of the additional geological reports. So far, however, the NRA has not promised any release for the Tomari nuclear power plant. There is even a threat of the plant being shut down, which the operating Hokkaido Electricity Company wants to avert with all its might, especially since the Tomari nuclear power plant, consisting of three PWRs, is still quite new.
Only yesterday morning, another earthquake of magnitude 4.0 with a classification of M 5.6 occurred. The epicenter was located about 190 km south of the Tomari NPP, at a depth of 110 km. During the September 2018 earthquake, serious problems even occurred at the Tomari nuclear power plant in the cooling circuit of the decay pools (antiatom-fuku reported).
Fukushima NPP, reactor 3: more fuel elements recovered from the decay pool
Operator Tepco announced yesterday (Tuesday) that more fuel assemblies have been recovered from the decay pool of reactor 3 at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and transported via shipping casks to the auxiliary decay pool located on the nuclear power plant site. So now 7 unused of the total 566 fuel elements have been recovered. The salvage of the first 4 fuel assemblies had already started on 15 g as part of a test phase.04.2019 started (antiatom-fuku reported). The final removal, which has to be carried out by remote-controlled cranes due to the high radioactivity, will start in summer and is expected to last until mid-2020.
Fukushima nuclear plant – Tepco to hire workers from abroad
Operator Tepco now plans to hire more workers from abroad for cleanup and decommissioning work at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Appropriate requirements regarding temporary residency-. Work permits are created on the part of the government.
Not only Tepco, but also the other NPP-operating power companies, as well as the construction industry, are desperately seeking workers.
The hired workers, who will remain in Japan for a limited time, will be used for cleanup work at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP and maintenance and cleaning work at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa NPP, according to Tepco. Here, reactors 6 and 7 are scheduled to be restarted after the completion of remedial work. At the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 4000 people are currently working every day. However, these can only be used for a limited time for a few weeks due to the increased radiation and have been coming from all over the country for some time now. Nevertheless the search becomes more and more difficult.
With the foreign workers, who are to be hired now, it is to be considered however that with existing language barrier the explanations of the work procedures, and/or the explanations of the work processes are not possible. The mandatory radiation protection training, etc. Hardly, respectively. Are not possible at all. In addition, it is also questionable whether the subcontractors and their sub-subcontractors, who come into question as the actual employer, are at all interested in a "successfully" conducted radiation protection training of the temporary workers, so that the workers are not even aware of the dangers of the radioactivity to which they are exposed. Tepco itself acts "only" as a "principal" and not as a direct employer, and can accordingly be.
Increased volcano risk for nuclear power plants in Fukui Bay
Despite increased volcanic danger at Mount Daisan, Tottori Prefecture with a predicted layer of 10 cm due to the precipitation of volcanic ash in the surrounding area, which scientists have now calculated using a computer simulation, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) continues to see no significant danger for the Ōi, Takahama and Mihama nuclear power plants, Fukui Prefecture. Reactors 3 and 4 at Ōi NPP and reactors 3 and 4 at Takahama NPP are already back in operation. For the old reactor 3 at the Mihama nuclear power plant, the NRA has granted an extension of the operating life for another 20 years and has defacto already released it. At present, however, this is still being technically retrofitted.
The Fukui Bay, where the 3 o.G. Nuclear power plants, as well as other reactors that have already been decommissioned, including the Monju fast breeder reactor, is located just 190 km north of the Daisan volcano. However, the NRA does not see any need for action regarding the Ōi, Takahama and Mihama NPPs despite the reassessments of the dangers posed by the increasing activity of the Daisdan volcano.
Fukushima nuclear power plant, decay pool reactor 3: Recovery of fuel elements has begun
Yesterday, Monday, the first 4 unused fuel assemblies out of a total of 566 fuel assemblies located in the decay pool of reactor 3 at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were recovered. The work, which had to be carried out completely by remote control due to the high level of radiation, lasted until early evening. Even though only 4 fuel assemblies were recovered instead of the planned 7, the work proceeded without incident.
Among the 566 fuel assemblies in the decay pool of reactor 3, there are 52 unused fuel assemblies. Originally, the salvage of the fuel elements was even supposed to start in 2014, which has not yet been possible due to the high levels of radioactive radiation. Even now after more than 8 years since the beginning of the reactor disaster, the radiation in the area of the decay pool of reactor 3 is still at 740 mS/h.
It is still unclear when the melted fuel assemblies can be removed from the reactor pressure vessel, which has also been fitted with 32 MOX fuel assemblies since August 2010.
In order to retrieve the fuel elements from the decay pool, which is located on the upper floor of the reactor building, they are placed under water in the transport container. The container is then lifted out of the reactor building by crane, placed on the waiting transport vehicle at a depth of 30 meters and driven to the additional decay pool, which is also located on the nuclear power plant site. The work is done remotely because of the high radiation. Are monitored in a separate control room. However, in the event that a technical malfunction occurs on the unloading crane, it must be repaired on site, i.E. In the building.
The work, which has started as part of a test phase for the time being, will now be evaluated and continued in June.
See also the video of ANN news (Japanese)
Nuclear propaganda homepage "Atsumare! Genshiryokumura" removed from the network
A new homepage, the "Atsumare! Genshiryokumura" ("Tackled! Atomic Village") which was put online by the Japan Atomic Industry Federation (JAIF), proved to be extremely inappropriate in terms of content, so that after 5 days, i.E. Last Friday, it was forcibly closed down.
For the homepage, "Atsumare! Genshiryokumura", which glorifies nuclear power in a propagandistic way, spreads untruths in the sense of nuclear energy and brainwashes in the sense of the nuclear lobby, was mainly aimed at children and young people. This homepage immediately met with the most severe criticism from the masses.
According to those responsible at JAIF, which promotes the "civilian use" of nuclear energy in the interests of the nuclear industry, the homepage, which was only launched on 08.04.2019 online to "convince" young people of the supposedly positive aspects of nuclear energy, which has fallen into disrepute since the reactor disaster at Fukushima.
Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, Reactor 3: Salvage of Fuel Assemblies to Begin Soon
As announced by the operator Tepco at the end of this week, the first fuel assemblies are to be recovered from the decay pool of reactor unit 3 at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant starting Monday. The salvage work will first begin with a test phase in which 7 unused fuel assemblies, i.E. One load, will first be salvaged. Subsequently, the operation carried out will be evaluated and the steps taken, if necessary. Improves. As of June, the salvage of the remaining fuel elements is to begin. The work, which had to be postponed several times due to technical problems, is expected to last 2 years.
Since the process is life-threatening due to high radiation, it must be done via remote-controlled cranes. Among the 566 fuel assemblies to be salvaged, there is also an unknown number of plutonium-containing MOX fuel assemblies. Reactor building 3, which was very badly damaged by the 2011 hydrogen explosion, is unstable and could collapse in the event of another stronger earthquake. In addition, the decay basin is located on the top floor, i.E. At a height of 30 meters, which does not exactly make the work easier.
To prevent radioactive particles from entering the environment during the salvage operations, the upper floor of the building, where the decay pool is also located, was covered with a semicircular protective shell. To retrieve the fuel elements from the decay pool, they are placed under water piece by piece in a transport container, lifted by crane and transported to the additional decay pool, which is located on the nuclear power plant site.
The salvage of the fuel assemblies from reactors 1 and 2, as well as the salvage of the core meltdowns from reactors 1 to 3, is still pending. No meltdown occurred in reactor 4, as it was empty at the time of the reactor disaster due to maintenance work. The decay pool with 1535 fuel elements was already emptied in 2014. Reactors 5 and 6, which were also undergoing overhauls, remained largely undamaged.
Fukushima nuclear power plant: about 1.6 billion. Euro total costs for 2019
For fiscal year 2019, the Ministry of Economy, which oversees and approves spending on the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has presented a cost plan for mitigation and decommissioning of the plant. According to this, the projected expenditures for 2019 are about 1.6 billion. Euro. 385 million of this. Euro for replacing leaking storage tanks, filtering the highly radioactively contaminated cooling water and maintaining the equipment. The preparation and salvage of the fuel assemblies from the decay ponds of reactors 1 to 3 is estimated to cost about 200 euros. 78 million. Euro will be allocated for further fact-finding missions, for the preparation of the salvage of the melted fuel elements of reactors 1 to 3, 237 million. Euro for personnel and administrative costs, as well as for public relations calculated. And 192 million. Euros will be set aside for unexpected events and. Incidents covered.
According to projections for the years 2020 and 2021, the total cost of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will be about 1.9 billion. And 1.6 billion. Euro lie.
Fukushima: partial release of Ono village from 10.04.2019
After final decision of the government, Ono locality, which includes the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, will be partially released for resettlement. The lifting of the evacuation order is divided into three sections, which means that one part of the locality is completely released for return, another part is released under restriction (limited duration of stay per day). The third part remains restricted zone.
Area decontamination was carried out in the completely released sections. These areas have now been deemed "safe" by the authorities, so that a return is supposedly possible, and expressly desired by the government. However, as in the other former evacuation areas already released, the willingness to return is very much limited. Because the concern regarding health consequences due to increased radioactivity is, contrary to official claims, namely quite justified. The reactor disaster was just over 8 years ago. Radiation levels in the surrounding area are still far above the normal limit of 1 to 2 mSv/a. In some cases, especially in undecontaminated green areas and forests, these are actually much higher. Even the decontaminated residential areas show in some cases a sudden increase of radioactivity levels up to 20 mSv/a and more. These are levels that are considered quite reasonable according to the government, which has set "20 mSv/yr" as the upper limit for former evacuation areas.